Episode 2: Stalkers, Nostalgia, Funny Babies and a Surprise

“Tell me a story that moves me”. This is a lesson that scam copywriters have learnt very well and which they diligently apply whenever they can. As good stories are really hard to come by, when striking gold, the creators of the lines that make the online social community go CLICK! squeeze that poor story of its last drop of emotion.

Let’s take one example. Who has not dreamt of being a spy or, even better, of receiving the precious gift of invisibility? See all and hear all at no risk. Why not? Well, the classic “See who viewed your profile” scam is reloaded this week and sent out into the world with a renewed license to hijack social community accounts. To make sure you spot it right away and don’t fall into the trap, just be careful when seeing luring messages such as: “Whoa, know now who was checking out my profile the most during the year 2010! See for yourself, so awesome!” or the more straight-to-the-point “See who stalks you on Facebook.”

Profile Peekers

After installing an app (what did you expect?) you will be asked to take some quizzes before you actually get to the juicy part of your spying endeavor.  The app is, in fact, a Facebook worm set on expanding its territory. You know the drill: it will automatically post messages on your wall and on your friends’ wall so it’s very likely they’ll get trapped as well. If you’ve already got it, just uninstall the app from your account and warn your friends.

Who else is playing the nip and tuck game this week? It’s the “My first Facebook status” copywriter who is doing a great job in simulating credible & “memorable” firsts. Mind you, this list is not comprehensive: “After I made a fb, My first status was: What am I supposed to do on here?/Wow this is way better than myspace/I'm on facebook !'/This thing is hard to use! …and so on. My personal favorite: “I got sucked into this stupid thing lol thanks guys…”. We’ve got prayers, pledges of allegiance, big words, whining and groaning. You name it, this scam has got it! Chapeau for a very versatile recipe!

The list continues with another blast from the past, though this time we’re talking about more recent events. Most of us like babies and almost all of us adore laughing babies (ok, some of you don’t, but bear with me!). Yes, ladies and gentlemen, wipe those tender tears ‘cause your Facebook account will not be that pretty a site after this baby has done its job.

Haha -  Baby's laughing, but you'll not.

Click the link and you’ll have to hire a PR person to deal with myriad of messages (apparently coming from you) that will get you in trouble with your friends (Wasn’t me!). To get an idea about the size of this phenomenon and about how much interest it might generate, the laughing baby theme has been very popular on YouTube for a long time and it now ranks tenth in the preferences of this channel’s users.

10th Place

Source: YouTube Charts

Next in line: surpriiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiise! Yes, it’s a piece of malware. Yes, it will hijack your account. Click the link and you’ll be taken to a blog with no entries. That will be the end of your ride, but not of your troubles.

Surprise, you've got malware.

BitDefender safego users are protected from all of these scams. Word of advice: stay away from the sensational, the macabre, the heartbreaking. The “girl who committed suicide after her father posted x on fb” scam is still going strong, just as all sorts of other tricks promising videos  about mothers going to jail for abusing their children or about men abusing young girls. However, if tempted to click any such link, check with the friend who appears to have posted it whether the post is actually his/hers.

This article is based on the technical information provided courtesy of George Petre, BitDefender Threat Intelligence Team Leader

All product and company names mentioned herein are for identification purposes only and are the property of, and may be trademarks of, their respective owners.

About the author

Ioana Jelea

Ioana Jelea has a disturbing (according to friendly reports) penchant for the dirty tricks of online socialization and for the pathologically mesmerizing news trivia. From gory, though sometimes fake, death reports to nip slips and other such blush-inducing accidents, her repertoire is an ever-expanding manifesto against any Victorian-like frame of thought that puts a strain on online creativity. She would like to keep things simple, but she never does.